Tag Archives: grief

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What You Need to Know About Trauma

Several years ago, I sat at my kitchen table making a simple grocery list. In the middle of making the list, my mind went blank and I broke into tears. “What is wrong with me?” I thought. I had no “real” reason to be upset. I had a beautiful family, great friends, and good health. I felt guilty for even “allowing” myself to feel this way. However, as I began thinking through the previous year, I remembered all that had happened. Four family members passed away, job loss, financial difficulty, and moving to a new town, all while clumsily attempting

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Feelings are Inevitable

Years ago I wrote a book titled The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. It is about feelings and living how we are created to live. That was almost twenty years ago. I have continued to work in the field of “living life on life’s terms” and continue to experience the struggles and joys of life on life’s terms daily. I have also continued to discover how true it is that we are made for relationship—with our own hearts, the hearts of others, and the heart of God. We cannot live life fully unless we are living

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Hurt People Hurt People

When people get hurt in relationship and do not receive healing from the wounds, they have a logical and defensible tendency to become protective against more pain. A wound that does not receive attention remains sensitive; a person becomes wary of being relationally “cut” again. The younger one is when unattended hurt begins, the more wary they become of a potential recurrence. The wariness that becomes defensiveness becomes common sense to the wounded person—even logical and defensible. But just because it is understandable does not make the consequences to others justifiable.     The defense that protects can eventually become the defense

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I’m Sorry

What do you say when you don’t know what to say? What can be said that helps when you are presented with another person’s loss, pain, grief, and struggle? When we are presented with pain over which we are powerless to repair, the words that truly fit the circumstance are, “I’m sorry.”  We can offer a person our sorrow, the identifying pain that says, “I deeply wish that this struggle were not yours, and I offer you my care.” "I'm sorry" can be the words that hold a person’s heart for a moment.     We do not usually believe the words,

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It’s Not OK, and It’s OK

In my work with people, I have begun to find themes that permeate the hearts of the souls that come in and out of my office. These souls have taught me that humans have A LOT of fears…like A LOT. I have witnessed how these fears can transfuse into walls and barricades surrounding a human heart protecting it from its very Self. Some people have described their grief or sadness to me as a weight on their back, a snowball that keeps building, or a dark cloud that follows them around.  Which leads me to ask, “What keeps you from turning to

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Do You Deny Yourself Joy?

My grandmother’s jewelry hangs in an organizer in my closet. I recently pulled it out from behind coats to find dust inside the pouches that neatly hold the precious metals, stones, and colors. I touched a couple of the pieces she wore often, and that most reminded me of her. My chest ached and my eyes watered at the memory, wishing it was now, and feeling sad that it could no longer be. Gladness and sadness both were present in that moment. And I’m finding that both of these feelings must be present in order to experience true joy. Unfortunately,

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The Pain of Hope

Suicide is a hard subject to discuss. Tragically, it touches too many lives. For those who attempt suicide and survive, the shame can be paralyzing. For the family and friends of those harmed by it's effects, the pain, confusion, and anger can be disorienting. Because we avoid talking about suicide, many of us don't fully understand it. While there are many contributing factors to why someone would try to take their own life (mental illness, drug abuse, susceptible age, etc.), one big misconception about suicide is that it is rooted in hopelessness. Adversely, most people are attempting to kill the hope that refuses to die inside of them.

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